The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee is trying to dig his way out of his embarrassing failure and somehow is just making things worse for himself.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes humiliated himself, his party, and Donald Trump last week when his “worse than Watergate” smoking gun memo turned out to be a complete dud.
So now Nunes is fantasizing about how the highest court in the land might fix it for him.
On Wednesday, Nunes explained to right-wing pundit Hugh Hewitt his desire to figure out whether it would be possible to make John Roberts, chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, “testify” to Congress about the concocted fantasies Nunes has been pushing for months about a vast anti-Trump conspiracy within the FBI.
This is something that we have, like I said, we have thought a lot about this,” Nunes said. “And the answer is we dont know the correct way to proceed because of the separation of powers issue.”
If that sounds unlikely to happen, that’s because it is. Even Nunes admitted he’s “not aware” of justices testifying before Congress. And Nunes’ entire theory for why Roberts should breach the separation of powers is pinned to the placement of a footnote in an application for a FISA warrant.
“It’s almost like you had to go out of your way to put the footnote in at the end,” Nunes told Hewitt.
Roberts, as chief justice, appoints judges to the FISA court contrary to another right-wing conspiracy theory that ricocheted around the internet last week claiming that President Obama had appointed at least one of the FISA court judges, thus calling the entire process into question.
And this fact, it seems, is the basis for Nunes’ hope of finding a way to drag the Supreme Court into his new mission: proving that the entire memo debacle wasn’t the humiliating failure the rest of the country thinks it was.
“Our next step with the courts,” Nunes said, “is to make them aware, if theyre not aware already, that this happened by watching the news, so we will be sending a letter to the court.”
Given the fever-pitch excitement from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee and at Fox News, which had also been hyping the memo to its most important viewer, Donald Trump it seems a safe bet that Roberts has heard something about it from the news. But he has yet to volunteer to go before Nunes’ committee to straighten the whole thing out for him.
“Even if Roberts accepts the invitation (which he will not), he would not discuss anything that could be implicated in a pending case,” constitutional law professor and Federalist Society member Josh Blackman wrote in an email to The Hill.
Nunes months ago established himself as Trump’s eager lapdog, or, as Nunes’ hometown paper called him, Trump’s “stooge.”
And while Trump crowed that Nunes’ memo “vindicated” him in the various investigations that are closing in on his White House, the rest of the world has been pointing and laughing at every Republican who thought this would somehow make Trump’s FBI problems disappear.
If Nunes is trying to belatedly save face now, openly imagining that the chief justice of the Supreme Court will assist him is not going to help.